Springtime in the Gobi Desert, South Mongolia. A family of nomadic shepherds assists the births of their camel herd. One of the camels has an excruciatingly difficult delivery but, with help from the family, out comes a rare white colt. Despite the efforts of the shepherds, the mother rejects the newborn, refusing it her milk and her motherly love. When any hope for the little one seems to have vanished, the nomads send their two young boys on a journey through the desert, to a a backwater town in search of a musician who is their only hope for saving the colt's life. Written by
Official submission of Mongolia for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. See more »
Now my children I'll tell you the story of the weeping camel. Many years ago, God gave antlers to the camel as a reward for the goodness of its heart. But one day a rogue deer came and asked the camel to lend him his antlers. He wanted to adorn himself with them for a celebration in the west. The camel trusted the deer and gave him his antlers, but the deer never brought them back. Since then the camels keep gazing at the horizon and still await the deer's return.
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The Mongols are a fascinating people who at one time, conquered more of our planet than any other nation or civilization. The supreme irony in all this was that the Mongols themselves were hardly "civilized," i.e., linked to living in cities supported by extensive agricultural complexes, but were traditionally pastoralists. However, they were one of the most efficient fighting forces in history, as they swept from the Chinese coast through the Eastern Mediterranean and up to the banks of the Danube in Europe. But, little is known about these marvelous people who are ancestors to the Manchus, Koreans and Japanese of today. Here is a wonderful little tale, albeit somewhat stylized, which gives us a glimpse of Mongol pastoral life on the brink of globalization. The subtle mixture of their traditional pastoral existence, e.g., yurts, herding, gathering fuel, etc., with that of the modern, e.g., the musician brings his morinkhuur (Mongol Viola) to camp on a motorcycle to perform an ancient ritual, is marvelously done.
The Mongol Bactria's camel nomads are rather marginal to the great majority of pastoralists, many of which still herd their sheep on their stout Mongol horses. These marvelous two-humped camels are now only found in Mongolia and this film showing their continuing way of life is simply wonderful.
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